CLIO FINAL - page 4

Both scientists and theologians throughout history
have utilised the above quote to draw attention to
Einstein’s fervent belief in the interdependence of
religion and science. After further exploration of
the quote, it can be argued that Einstein was some-
what misguided in his definition of 'religion', and, in
actual fact, the context is vital in highlighting that
Einstein’s perspective offered no consolation to
theists, or believers likewise.
Following extensive examination of the
quote, individuals now believe Einstein was argu-
ing that science helps us understand the physical
structure of the universe, whilst religion deals with
human values, morals and meanings. In one sense,
science is the 'what' behind natural and human
existence, whereas religion serves to illuminate
what humanity ‘should’ be. However, Einstein
mistakenly aligned human goals and values with
just religious belief, completely neglecting two
millennia of secular morality (ethics based solely
on human faculties such as logic, empathy, reason
or moral intuition, and not derived from supernat-
ural revelation or guidance). Religion is surely not
the only source of how to behave or determine
purpose for human life, especially when the inter-
pretation of scripture is too literal. This is particu-
larly problematic for individuals who quote God as
their moral compass, without having any terrestrial
concerns. Although the teaching of morality within
scripture is rife, there are also individuals who are
undeniably misguided by scripture and religion, and
extreme cases where religion is abused. For exam-
ple, in 2008 Donna Marie Redding shot and killed
her husband, quoting “Jesus told me to do it” and
further asserted that her husband was “the devil”,
thus ending an innocent man’s life at the hands of
fervent religious belief. Indeed, it was also reported
by a 'NewYork Times' correspondent, that a troop
joined the American militant cause against Al-Qa-
eda, because he was persuaded that the infidel
troops were the cause of evil. His foundations for
this belief stemmed from the fact that he had ear-
lier witnessed an Al-Qaeda militant decapitate an
eight-year old girl, in the name of religion.
Einstein also made the mistake of arguing
that religion deals “only with evaluations of human
thought and action,” ignoring the quite obvious fact
that many religions are also concerned with truth
statements—statements about the existence of
God, what kind of God he is and what he wants us
to do, as well existential and cosmological ques-
tions about the fate of human existence. Einstein,
however, did not support truth statements, but in-
stead believed that religion was merely a construct
"Science without religion
is lame, religion without
science is blind."
How did Albert Einstein understand
“The aspiration toward truth
and understanding…springs
from the sphere of religion”
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